Already a game-changer as an alternative — and cost-effective — method of processing credit card payments, Square is making the jump from software developer to hardware provider. At the heart of this transition is Square Stand, a tech-based replacement for cash registers.
Square rose to prominence as an app-based software solution that handled credit card transactions at a much lower cost than traditional providers. iPads and iPhones could be easily outfitted with card readers, making credit card processing more accessible and less expensive.
Square Stand will feature all of that and more. The iPad-compatible stand is built to holster a tablet device and is equipped with a card reader at its base. Connectable ports installed into the stand can be used to hook up printers, scanners and other devices directly to the device and the tablet.
The device, available for pre-order, will retail at $299.
A Seamless Checkout Solution
Jack Dorsey, Square co-founder and CEO, said Stand’s greatest appeal will be its ability to integrate once-separate functions of the checkout process. Retailers and merchants have struggled for decades with incompatible devices that clutter the checkout stand and bottleneck the checkout process.
While Square originally focused on enticing small businesses to adopt its technology, the long-term hope is that consumer satisfaction with the system will encourage larger retailers to make similar transitions. Dorsey explained that a major breakthrough could already be in the works. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is reportedly interested in adopting Square Stand in all of its chains. Starbucks already accepts Square payments at more than 7,000 locations worldwide.
Square’s Growth a Win for Apple
One of the biggest benefactors of Square’s new product is Apple, the exclusive provider of Square-compatible devices. Stand is only compatible with the iPad 2 and 3, meaning that each Stand purchase will be complemented by a correlating iPad purchase.
That’s a blow to Android, which could be said to be on the outside looking in at this burgeoning point-of-sale revolution.
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